Tahlequah Daily Press

February 14, 2013

Contraband in jail nets 10 years for area woman

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A woman accused of having contraband inside the Cherokee County Detention Center in December was given a 10-year sentence Wednesday.

Michelle Shneice Angel, 34, allegedly had a cigarette lighter that had been given to her by a family member. When CCDC officers learned Angel had the lighter, they confiscated it, and later searched female inmates’ jail cells.

Officers said they found a glass smoking device, pills, and a smaller bag with an unknown powdery substance. Those items had been hidden under a mat in Angel’s cell, officers said, although she denied knowing about the items.

Angel confessed to District Judge Darrell Shepherd Wednesday she purposefully had the contraband at CCDC, and pleaded guilty to the charges, along with a previous charge of possessing a controlled dangerous substance.

Angel was given a 10-year sentence with the Department of Corrections, but the balance of the sentence will be suspended upon her completion of a state drug-court program.

Shepherd denied Angel’s request for a day to “get [her] affairs in order,” which Angel said would include seeing her children. Shepherd said similar cases have led him to believe doing so could prove “disastrous.”

Shepherd said it could be at least a month before Angel is accepted into the regimented treatment program.